Navajo environmental advocate honored
Five from Arizona recognized for protecting the environment
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - During the agency's 11th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony April 16 in San Francisco, U.S. EPA acting Regional Administrator Laura Yoshii recognized five Arizona organizations and individuals in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment.
"It is a great pleasure and honor that we can recognize the innovative and important ... work achieved by this year's impressive group of organizations and individuals, and the example they set for all of us to follow," Yoshii said.
"This year's winners and nominees have made superb efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land, and increased awareness of the environmental challenges we all face."
The Pacific Southwest's Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Forty groups and individuals were selected from over 200 nominees received from businesses, local government officials, tribes, media, environmental organizations and community activists.
The Arizona winners included Ann Marie Wolf of the Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. in Tucson; city of Phoenix Public Works Department; Councilman Rodney Glassman and city of Tucson staff; Global Water of Phoenix; and Lillie Lane of the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency in Window Rock.
Lillie Lane, the Navajo Nation EPA's Public Information Officer, has worked with Navajo communities and to bring unprecedented levels of awareness and protection to people at risk from the impacts associated with abandoned uranium mines. While the mines are closed, the legacy of uranium contamination from over 500 abandoned mines remains. Lane's work was instrumental in assessing over 100 Navajo homes, 200 wells and 40 abandoned mines to determine threats to residents. She conducted extensive door-to-door outreach in extremely remote, inaccessible areas to ensure Navajo families were not drinking water contaminated with radionuclides. Lane has built strong relationships based on trust with many Navajo Nation community members and continues to help the EPA meet its aggressive goals to address the legacy of uranium mining in the Navajo Nation.
For the complete list of winners, visit www.epa.gov/region09/awards.